Have you ever felt rather smug paying for your groceries in the supermarket with your wearable tech, only to then be asked whether you have a loyalty card, and you’re back to fumbling in your bag to find your wallet?

Or installed wireless speakers around your home only to find it doesn’t come with your favourite music service integration, and you can’t play the music you love?

The problem isn’t really about the technology not working, but more a case of outdated thinking by brands and businesses about the realities of their customers’ worlds.

Take money as a good example. In my world, I have a bank, a credit card, a mortgage, a pension, a savings account, an ISA and a couple of payments services. Oh and a bitcoin (well a tenth of one). I don’t belong to any one bank, financial institution or digital payments service. That’s just not reality. Yet in their world, businesses still think of you as ‘theirs’.

So nothing integrates. Nothing is seamless. And everything is just a bit laborious.

Which is why, as the title suggests, Apple’s announcement to add Amazon’s Prime Video to Apple TV is so brilliant. It’s not just about simplifying customer experience and providing a one-size-fits-all service – it’s that two massive rivals have come together to recognise that their customers aren’t theirs alone. Where it’s not just ok to share; it’s wonderful.

We talk often about enlightened businesses taking an active role in the communities and societies they move in, but this should also mean a duality of understanding between competitor and partner. Get too busy looking over your shoulder at the ‘competition’, and someone will swoop in from left field to change the game altogether. So how about thinking about the competition less as something to be reviled, and more like another player in your field that you can learn from, innovate with and potentially offer epic consumer experiences together.

Fundamentally, it’s the right thing to do. I could hear the whoops from content lovers all over the world at the news. Finally, we’re being offered an experience that makes sense to us, not just the business.

And just in time for House of Cards series 4.

I wonder what this might pave the way for in the future. Google Play store on iOS? One place to manage all your money? One mobile network where you default to the best signal and wifi depending on where you are? Oh, it could be glorious!

First featured on The Drum 12.06.17
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